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Participants in the ARC Accredited Agency program have the authority to directly issue airline and rail tickets through a GDS. ARC Accredited Agencies have access to ARC's first class financial settlement service, as well as to the ARC Accredited Agency Toolkit, which includes ARC's credit card and service fee processing program, marketing and business products and services, and fraud prevention solutions. And every ARC participating agency receives its own unique ARC number. The ARC Accredited Agency program gives travel agencies the independence to do what they do best...sell travel.
- Electronic financial settlement through ARC
- A unique ARC number, used as an identifier by travel suppliers
- Travel agency service fees through a GDS or Agent's Choice
- Revenue-preserving exclusive fraud prevention services and alerts
- More than 10,000 commissionable destination activities from ARC MarketPlace
- A premium listing in the Agency List
- Streamlined, more efficient business processes with cutting-edge sales and marketing tools
- Enhanced market visibility and recognition as a top-tier travel agency through Agency List File
- Access to industry training and educational webinars
- Access to more than 190 world-class ARC carriers
- Up-to-date security information and fraud protection
- As a prospective new participant, you will need to download and complete an ARC Accredited Agency application.
- To avoid delays, please complete the entire application kit before submission.
- The non-refundable application fee is $2,000, which includes the annual fee of $210.
- Upon receipt of an application, we will review it for completeness and compliance with Agency Reporting Agreement (ARA) requirements, typically within 10 days. An ARC representative may contact an applicant.
- A follow-up letter will confirm the status of each application and advise the applicant of any missing information.
- ARC will conduct an interview with agency owners and relevant personnel once the application is complete.
- ARC will make a final decision based on a review of the interview and the application and other documentation, and we will notify you of your approval.
- Once an approval is granted, participating carriers are notified. Some carriers may subject agents to a secondary accreditation process.
Applicants undergo ARC's rigorous approval process. Some requirements of ARC Accredited Agency participation include the following:
- Your agency must be located in and authorized to do business in the United States, the U.S. Virgin Islands, or Puerto Rico.
- You must provide a bond, letter of credit or cash deposit in the minimum amount of $20,000.
- Your personnel must meet the standards noted in Section IV B of the ARA, including the following:
- One person must be designated as the Management Qualifier. The Management Qualifier is a full-time employee of the agency. Additionally, the Management Qualifier exercises daily supervision of, and responsibility for, the operations of that agency location and has the authority to make management decisions.
- One person has completed and passed the ARC Specialist exam and will represent the agency as the ARC Specialist Qualifier.
- Note: The Management Qualifier and the ARC Specialist Qualifier may be the same person.
- Your agency must meet the ticketing security standards of Attachment B of the ARA.
*If your agency does not meet these requirements, please consider our Verified Travel Consultant (VTC) program.
Do I need the bond, letter of credit or cash deposit before I apply?
No, a bond, letter of credit or cash deposit (financial guarantee) is not needed before you apply and does not need to be submitted with the application. However, the application will not be considered complete until ARC receives the financial guarantee and all other required documents.
How do I become an ARC Specialist?
You must pass the ARC Specialist Qualifier exam. Read more about training and examination.
What are the security requirements?
The security requirements for ARC traffic documents and e-ticket numbers are described in Attachment B in the ARA.
Can I have my agency in my home?
Yes, a travel agency can be located in a private residence, as long as it meets the local jurisdiction requirements where the agency is located.